Mike Stevens | Sep 17, 2010

Mark Webber has played down suggestions he is asking for his teammate Sebastian Vettel to play a supporting role for the rest of 2010.

At Spa-Francorchamps recently, the Australian suggested that with a growing points gap to his teammate, the time might be nearing for Red Bull to appoint a number one, depending on "how hungry they are".

Team consultant Helmut Marko then admitted Red Bull will "sit down all together" and "assess our championship chances" after Monza, where the points gap between the drivers became 24 with five races to go.

But Vettel sounded unimpressed at the prospect of a supporting role, insisting that "team orders are banned".

Webber manager Flavio Briatore's view is strident, insisting that maintaining parity between the pair is what Red Bull should do "if they don't want to win the Championship".

Spain's Diario Sport now quotes Webber as saying: "Help from Vettel? It depends on the team.

"Rest assured I have not asked for anything. It's the same at McLaren," said the 34-year-old Championship leader.

(GMM)

 

Victorian Government Defends Huge F1 Race Loss

This year's Australian Grand Prix cost taxpayers almost $10 million more than the previous Melbourne race.

The 2010 loss tips the scales at $49.2 million, more than double the loss of 2006, according to a report in The Australian newspaper.

The figure emerged in the Australian Grand Prix Corporation's annual report, insisting the global financial crisis continues to have a "significant impact" on the Albert Park event.

Additionally, a further $7.8 million will be spent on improvements to the venue, located around public parklands south of the city.

Ten years ago, the race lost less than $4m annually.

An independent MP called the figures "embarrassing" and "outrageous", but Victorian Major Events Minister Tim Holding said Formula 1 is worth it.

"The economic benefit to Victoria far outweighs the cost of staging the Grand Prix," he is quoted by The Age newspaper.

Albert Park is contracted to stay on the F1 calendar until at least 2015.

(GMM)

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